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Baseball and the iconic elegance of the New York Yankees

In New York sport can be chic

Baseball and the iconic elegance of the New York Yankees In New York sport can be chic

“You know why Yankees always win, Frank?”
“Because they have Mickey Mantle?”
“No, It's cause the other teams can't stop staring at those damn pinstripes"

Walken tries to explain the New York Yankees’s iconic charm to his son Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch me if you can”, directed by Steven Spielberg in 2002.


Tiffany & Co. designed a Purple Heart to donate to John McDowell’s wife in 1877; the man was the first new yorker policeman killed in the line of duty. They couldn’t expect that the particular overlap of N and Y, would have been one of the most recognizable and emblematic logos not only in the sports history. The baseball player packaging is, indeed, quite charming. Pinstripes suit, leather gloves, belt and the hat, the oldest symbol of elegance that has always identified the social position! We’re not talking about an ordinary hat, it is ‘The baseball hat’. The visor casts over the eyes a soft shadow, not different to the one of most mysterious knights. I would not be surprised to see someone looking for a Yankees cap in the new NBA Milan store, that will open soon in the city and not even to see the same person not knowing about the Yankees be a baseball team! 

Baseball has a very little audience in Italy. Italians have always been more into faster and more dynamic activities. It’s fun to see lots of people wearing MLB merchandising, as much as the ones who support the flag of AC Milan, Inter and Juventus. The spread of Major League Baseball products in Italy it is maybe due to Foot Locker store, who has sold the major american baseball teams clothes for many years since today. Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers are the most commercialized. The unstopped distribution of these items in an influencial store such like Foot Locker, which can be found everywhere in the whole territory, leds people to consider N and Y only as a fashion brand and not just like a glorious baseball team. The ‘Bronx Bombers’ has won 27 World Series titles, 16 more than the St. Louis Cardinals, which is the second team to gain the highest number of Championships.

Christina Mc Adam, New Era’s Product Director, has explained that the most influencial persons who helped to introduce the Bronx baseball team in the world of fashion have been Jay-Z and Spike Lee. They are two important reference points of the musical and film culture. Beyoncé housband has helped to identified the Yankees cap as part of the real rapper uniform. Even before Jay-Z, the rappers were distinguishable in the crowd thanks to their eccentricity. The hat was already a symbol for many artists belonging to the african and giamaican musical tradition. The hats variety of all the models reflected an upcoming new culture. Grandmaster Flash’s hat flat and the Run Dmc’s Fedoras, of the jazz tradition and also the kangol Bucket hat, became symbols of an encoded world. The New York Yankees, anyway, were not in that set of symbols yet. Baseball cap became a way to express the pride to belong to the East coast in the 90’s, as well as an additional virtue of New York chic. If we think about the fashion in 2018, nothing is as chic as Gucci.

Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s Creative Director, has often shown up in pubblic with a Truly Green hat in the last two years. Its own personal cap, is customized with the most famous details of the italian brand. It’s not so hard to see the Yankees’ Michele hat decorated with the catchy butterfly. This unusual collaboration with the Major League Baseball has reach the top with the F/W 18 collection, New York Yankees patch coexists optimally with the powerful visual world of the florentine brand, which is full of allegories and historical symbols. Gucci has embroided Yankees’ logo on pied-de-poule coats, slippers and jeans. N and Y overlap with the traditional Banda Web and with the Double G monogram. Alessandro Michele hasn’t only taken inspiration by the modern design of the jersey. The characteristics symbols of the early ‘900 Yankees jersey are now adopted by the fashion house and they coherently coexist even with the 2018 tailoring collection. This partnership takes on form among dogs, chicken in a suburb fish and chips, thanks to Harry Style.

The Yankees has a particoular and unique powerful in the sports world as the result of their combination with the fashion world and his shapes. Bigger than their cousins, the New York Mets, which have often been obscured in their successes as Mozart did with Salieri. The Pinestripes are bigger than the NY Giants, Rangers, Kniks and Nets, even bigger than the MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art has chosen to sell the famous Yankees’s baseball cap in his store. As Chay Costello, the Director of Merchandising, said, “The white logo on the dark navy backgroung is part of the city [...] having that connection [to New York City] was important for the visitors”.

The most elegant among all the knights was Derek Jeter, in every single year of his career. The Ex-captain and glorious symbol of the league was the one who rode the strongest horse. Obviously is Michael Jordan to introduce Jeter into the scenary of sportwear with his own personal baseball apparel collection, Jeter has choosen one of the few who could overpass the fame of the Yankees. The spot celebrating the last game of Derek Jeter ends with the high communicative image of the Michael taking of his hat to honor Derek’s career. It take “GOAT” to know “GOAT”. Someone defines baseball “the noble sport for well dressed gentleman” and it can not be a concidence if the pitch is known as ‘diamond’.